Say It Right Series

    Qing Wen - Grammar - Beginner


    Qing Wen is one of our most popular and long-running shows on ChinesePod. We take questions from our community and turn them into helpful audio and video lessons.
    Here is a selection of beginner Qing Wen lessons curated by a Chinese teacher. They all focus on questions relating to grammar in some way.

    Using 看 (kàn) and 看起来 (kàn qilai) Qing Wen

    In this, the first of our Qing Wen series, Connie and Amber jump off the lesson comments pages and into your headphones to answer a Chinese language question from a real live ChinesePod learner. She asked: what is the difference between 看(kàn) and 看起来 (kàn qǐlai), anyways? Listen in and you'll be telling all your friends how beautiful they look in no time!


    Reduplication of Verbs Qing Wen

    'Reduplication of verbs' we hear you say? Well maybe not in those words. Don't think we can make something with a name like this fun? Listen in to hear Aggie, Ken and Amber make an interesting point of Chinese grammar come alive.


    Using 又 (yòu) and 再 (zài) Qing Wen

    In this exciting edition of Qing Wen, we clear up once and for all any confusion as to when to use the two different words for "again" in Chinese. Yes, that's right, they are the illustrious 又 (yòu) and 再 (zài). You'll never be confused... again!


    了 (le): Something's About to Happen Qing Wen

    了 (le) is a many-splendored thing... and due to overwhelming demand, we, your loving hosts of Qing Wen, have decided to help crack the mystery of 了 wide open--starting in this podcast, where we go into one particularly useful 了 sentence pattern. Listen in, and find out how to use 了 to express that something is about to happen. And stay tuned to Qing Wen for future 了 lovin'.


    Negating Verbs: When to Use 没有 (méiyǒu), When to Use 不 (bù) Qing Wen

    Now, we don't mean to be negative, but sometimes knowing when to use 没有 (méiyǒu) and when to use 不 (bù) when negating verbs can be a little bit daunting. But... no more! In this Qing Wen our special guest, grammar-expert John, comes along as we answer the oft-pondered conundrum of how to negate verbs in Chinese.


    To Finish Something Off: Verb 好 (hǎo) Qing Wen

    This week we answer a very specific question from one of our listeners, that is: when someone asks you if you have completed a task, how do you respond, if you haven't finished yet? Now, we know verb complements might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but Jenny's back this week and the girls are ready to have fun. Listen in, and when you're done, try a fun sentence of your own!


    All About 所有 (suǒyǒu) and 都 (dōu) Qing Wen

    In this Qing Wen, we answer a question from a user who is feeling a little perplexed over how to use the two words for 'all' in Chinese, 所有 (suǒyǒu) and 都 (dōu). Listen in and the usage will be all cleared up for all time for all of you.


    More or less? 多 (duō) and 少 (shǎo) Qing Wen

    This week on Qing Wen we bring you some study tips. We tell you what you need to do more of (多 duō) and what you need to do less of (少 shǎo) to really master this great language! In the process, you will also learn the art of using 多 (duō) and 少 (shǎo). Listen in as Ken, Amber and Connie share their own learning tips, and add some of your own in the comments section.


    You Can and Will Use 会 (huì)! Qing Wen

    This week on Qing Wen we answer a question lots of people have asked about using 会 (huì)! Now, many of us know that 会 (huì) can have a couple different usages, depending on context. Today we sort them out for you. Plus you may be surprised to learn that there are even more ways you can, and will, use this little three-letter word!


    All About Measure Words Qing Wen

    Measure words get a bad rap. But they're really not as bad as you think, we promise! Today on Qing Wen we unravel the mystery behind when and how to use measure words in Chinese.


    A Little Bit About 一点儿 Qing Wen

    In this Qing Wen, we talk about how to use 一点儿 (yi1dian3r) in combination with adjectives, and how its position can change the entire meaning of the sentence. We'll give you a little bit 'o insight to help you to use this word in Chinese, as well as a little insight into Clay's favourite pastimes.


    You talking about me? Qing Wen

    This week on Qing Wen we talk a bit more on a sentence pattern from a recent lesson "Handsome Boy', which is all about talking about someone! Isn't Clay the lucky one to be the 'handsome boy' in the recording room with two girls talking about him. Listen in, and learn more ways to expand on this Chinese sentence structure!


    The 又...又 (Yòu...Yòu) Episode Qing Wen

    We bring our yoyo skills into the studio this week as we discuss a very useful sentence pattern in Chinese, namely "又...又" (Yòu...Yòu). In a word, this pattern is used to describe two things about one subject. Listen in for lots of fun examples to get you 'yo-yo-ing' in no time.


    一边...一边 ... (yībiān...yībiān...) Qing Wen

    We like to multi-task around here, and we know you do to. In this episode, we will teach you how to say that you are doing more than one thing at a time. So minimize the 13 programs that you have running on your computer and take a moment to soak in this sweet sentence pattern.


    还是 háishi OR 或者 huòzhě Qing Wen

    Lemme get this straight, there are two words for "or" in Mandarin? Isn't this language hard enough as it is? Let the QW gang (sans two week vacay Connie) take a stab at clarifying this tricky little fella.


    Making Comparisons Using 比 bǐ Qing Wen

    In this week's episode, we teach you the extremely useful structure that allows you to tell everyone how much smarter you are than them. The best part is... it will be true after you listen to this podcast.


    More than 50 kuai! Qing Wen

    In today's Qing Wen we enter the world of abacuses and sandwiches, as we learn from a money faux pas made by Clay. In this episode, learn about the subtleties of complaining about an overpriced sandwich "over 50 RMB!" [number 多 (duō) measure word] like Clay did when he was gouged on a recent lunch escapade. Enter: the culture of numbers!


    Aren't you.... (不是.... 吗) Qing Wen

    Isn't Qing Wen supposed to come out on Monday? Ha, now you can say that in Mandarin Chinese. Enjoy the new website, and enjoy this useful pattern that enables one to call someone out, or just pose an obvious contradiction.


    ...都 (dōu): The Bryan Adams pattern Qing Wen

    If Bryan Adams wanted to learn Chinese, the first pattern he would study would be the ___ 都 (dōu) pattern. QW is here with some examples on how both he and you can use it successfully. And as we all know, anything we do, we do it for you.


    Clarifying how to use "every" 每(měi) Qing Wen

    Amber says Y'all, Connie plays us a Jackie Chan song, and Clay takes a back seat and listens to the girls clarify how to use the an "every" day word.


    The 是...的 (Shì Pattern Qing Wen

    Finally, we tackle one of the top ten requested sentence patterns here on Qing Wen: the 是...的 (shì pattern. No, we weren't afraid... well, maybe a little... but for some reason it took a year to get around to it. Good thing we have a linguist on hand (JP) to help us break this one down. A linguist, a smuggler, and a shopaholic. Are you sure you trust us with this pattern? Listen in and see!


    会 (Huì) and 能 (Néng) Face-off Qing Wen

    Alas these tricky little words. In this episode, we help clarify some different ways to use 会 (huì) and 能 (néng). The qingwen-ers tell all as they reveal each other's secret abilities. Listen in and add the ability to use these words in Chinese to your wealth of talents!


    麻烦你 (Máfan Nǐ) to Say Please Qing Wen

    In this Qing Wen, we discover a new way to make ourselves sound like the polite people we are. The magic phrase: 麻烦你 (Máfan Nǐ)... a way to curry favor, impose upon, complain, and much more. Learn how to use it here!


    When 比较 (bǐjiào) becomes 更 (gèng) Qing Wen

    Our favorite comparison word, 比较 (bǐjiào), makes a special appearance on this Qing Wen, in order to help us state our preferences. Its more enthusiastic partner, 更 (gèng), also chimes in today and shows us how to take our likes to the next level.


    The Magic Word 把 Qing Wen

    Today's Qing Wen is about one of the most important grammar constructions in Chinese: sentences involving 把. This little word has caused more than its share of headaches and confusion. But the Shanghai Trio are not afraid of anything (except SARS). Listen to this podcast, the first in a series, and learn how to sound much more like a native Mandarin speaker.


    How Far Away are You From Understanding 离? Qing Wen

    This week, we're talking about 离 (lí). Use this little particle to show distance -- how far are you from your home, from your goals, and your standards. Now you're just seconds away from learning some useful Mandarin.


    How're You Doing? 得 Qing Wen

    In today's Qing Wen, the Gleeful Three will teach you how to describe how you do something in Chinese, using the very useful word 得 (de). You'll learn how to describe the manner in which you do things-- like learning Chinese!


    Bringing it All Back Home With 回去 and 回来 Qing Wen

    Here's a Qing Wen about a couple of words that many students of Chinese find confusing-- 回去(huíqu) and 回来 (huílai). They can be a little tricky, but fear not: the Shanghai Trio is here to clear away all the confusion. Learning Chinese with Qing Wen combines fun and function!


    Earlier and Later than Expected: 才and 就 Qing Wen

    In this Chinese podcast, you'll learn how to use the words 才 (cái) and 就 (jiù). The Shanghai Trio are going to explain how these handy little adverbs express your surprise that something happened sooner or later than you expected, or that it took more or less time than you'd foreseen. Get started on learning Mandarin today-- better late than never!


    How to Say "and" in Chinese Qing Wen

    Have we got a grammar lesson for you! Tune in today as the Shanghai Trio explain the many variations of "and" in Chinese. When your Mandarin really takes off, you'll be able to make a lot of money, and have a good love life, and live every day to the limit, and be the life of the party...


    Giving 给 Another Look Qing Wen

    So, you learned 给 (gěi) way back in your first Chinese Newbie lesson. Later you learned how to use it in combination with some other verbs. Do you think you've really got it totally mastered? Listen to this lesson to find out some other grammatical tricks you may not know about.

    Tags: grammar

    Expressing Location with 边 and 面 Qing Wen

    Sure, you know the word 里面 (lǐmiàn), and you've heard 里边 (lǐbian). They seem to mean the same thing. But then you think about cases like 路面 (lùmiàn) and 河边 (hébiān) and you start to wonder if there's something special going on here. There is! Tune in to this podcast and get your Chinese grammar issues cleared up.

    Tags: grammar

    Back to Basics: Making People Plural with 们 (men) Qing Wen

    Today we're going back to a fundamental concept in Chinese. When you're talking to or about two or more people, you will want to use this little but important pronoun: 们 (men). The team will also be exploring instances in which 们 (men) is used, but perhaps not terribly obvious. We hope y'all find this helpful!

    Tags: noun, people, plural

    Future fun with 会 (hui4), 要 (yao4), and 将 (jiang1) Qing Wen

    There are many ways to discuss future events in Chinese, but there are some important differences among these. Tune in to today's Qing Wen to learn how to use 会 (huì), 要 (yào), and 将 (jiāng).

    Tags: future tense, plans, will

    Revisiting Before and After Qing Wen

    The basic Chinese words for "before" and "after" are 以前 (yǐqián) and 以后 (yǐhòu). If you're anything like the typical learner of Chinese, though, you could use a little bit more help on how to use these words. After covering those basics, we help you out with a few other more advanced "before" and "after" issues.

    Tags: future, time

    Speaking with 跟 (gen) and 对 (dui) Qing Wen

    In English we have multiple words for talking, like "talk" and "speak," and then various prepositions that can collocate with them, such as "with," "to," etc. Chinese has the same situation going on. Unfortunately, when you start talking prepositions, logic goes out the window. In this lesson, however, we help you to get a better sense for how prepositions combine with speech-related verbs in Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: talking, chat, speaking

    就 for Emphasis Qing Wen

    就 (jiù) is a word that gets around. You learn it at Elementary, you learn it again at Intermediate, you even keep learning it at Upper Intermediate. It just gives and gives and gives (headaches). In this Chinese lesson, we cover the most common use of 就 (jiù): emphasis.

    Tags: people, place

    The Complexities of 'De' Qing Wen

    Ah, the mysterious and vexing "de". If you've studied Mandarin for at least a little while, you've probably run across the various forms of this particle and experienced firsthand how confusing they can become. But have no fear, after listening to our Qing Wen you'll know how to use "de" like a Mandarin Chinese pro!

    Tags: grammar, Chinese character, language

    一下,一会儿,and 一点儿 Qing Wen

    We've got three ostensibly similar but quite unique phrases for you today, ones that you probably see and hear often but may not be quite completely clear on how to use. Listen in as the team discusses "moments" and "bits" in today's Qing Wen lesson and learn how to use them to full effect!

    Tags: actions, time

    How to be Negative Qing Wen

    No one likes to be a debbie-downer, but sometimes you've just gotta say "no." In this lesson, QW goes over a few important words that turn regular sentences negative and the proper situations in which to use them. Any questions or comments are welcome below!

    Tags: grammar, time, negative

    WithstAnding 和,跟,and 与 Qing Wen

    Sometimes, like fifth-graders at their first dance, nouns in Mandarin Chinese just stand awkwardly on opposite sides of the room. Linking nouns together can be a challenge, but never fear, because in today's Qing Wen we'll cover the subtle but important differences between three of the most commonly-used conjunctions and prepositions in Mandarin Chinese. Tune in and have all your questions answered!

    Tags: with, and

    The Many Ways to 'But' In Qing Wen

    Chinese has a lot of ways to say 'but' and they're all pretty much the same. Although if you want to be a pain in the butt about it, there are some small differences in the ways that the different Chinese words for 'but' are used.

    Tags: but

    Where Is The 在 At? Qing Wen

    This edition of Qing Wen explores the use of the preposition 在 (zài). Learn when 在 should be placed before or after a verb!

    Tags: location

    Syllables and Verbs Qing Wen

    Although there are some verbs which can stand on their own with one syllable, in modern Chinese, many verbs are expressed in two (or more) syllables. In fact, most monosyllabic verbs can be changed into disyllabic verbs. This Qing Wen discusses some of the ways that Chinese verbs grow longer.


    Surname Surprises Qing Wen

    Qing Wen discusses more 多音字 (duōyīnzì), characters that have more than one pronunciation, in this episode. This time, all of these characters are pronounced differently when used as surnames.

    Tags: family name, culture

    Approximate Numbers - Part 1 Qing Wen

    When talking about some things like how much someone's salary is or someone's age, sometimes it's best not to be so accurate. Along come approximate numbers! In the first of this two part series, learn about difference between the characters 几 (jǐ) and 多 (duō).

    Tags: numbers

    Approximate Numbers - Part 2 Qing Wen

    Qing Wen continues its series on approximate numbers. In this installment, learn about the use of 两 (liǎng), 来 (lái) and more.

    Tags: numbers

    Do Your Measure Words Measure Up? Qing Wen

    Today in Qing Wen, we tackle four common measure words that have to do with things written down, that is 封 (fēng), 首 (shǒu), 幅 (fú) and 篇 (piān). Link the right measure word to the right noun and you will be sure to impress you Chinese friends!

    Tags: measure words

    Which one is Which Qing Wen

    In today's Qing Wen, we will be focusing on two Chinese words-“哪个” and “几”. These two words can both mean 'which' according to the context. It's based on Toddsqui's question. Just tune in and let us know if you have more questions.

    Tags: asking questions

    Time Word Tips P1: 上 and 下 Qing Wen


    When I first started learning Chinese, I got super confused about how time works in Chinese. Why is next week "under week" and last month "up month." It was only once Fiona taught me this handy tip that I finally understood.

    Tags: video, month, week, time

    Time Word Tips P2 : 前 and 后 Qing Wen

    This is part two of a video series helping new learners understand how Mandarin time words work, or at least give visual aids to help you remember which means which. Today we focus on how to say the year before next, the year before last, as well as the day before yesterday, and the day after tomorrow.

    Tags: past, future, time, video

    How to Add Emphasis Qing Wen

    If tones change the meaning of a Chinese word, how can one add emphasis to a word without altering that meaning? Well in today's video Qing Wen we explain.

    Tags: tones, pronunciation, video

    Everything and Nothing: Question Word & 都 [VIDEO] Qing Wen

    Today we teach a super useful grammar structure used when saying extremes of things using the character QW + 都/也 Learn how to say: - Everything, Everyone, Everywhere - Nothing, Nobody, Nowhere

    Tags: Sentence Structures, grammar, video

    All about Can: 能 (néng),会 (huì),可以 (kěyǐ) Qing Wen

    Today's Qing Wen takes a deeper look at the characters 能 (néng) 可以 (kěyǐ) and 会 (huì). These characters can all translate as "can" or "be able to" but when you actually come to compare the differences, it can get a bit tricky. Hopefully this video will be helpful for elementary students for a general overview, as well as higher level learners who want to figure out which is best to use in certain situations. Watch the video and make sure to look at all the example sentences. For a great written article, check out this Chinese Grammar Wiki post from AllSet learning. Click here. Related Qing Wen: 会 (Huì) and 能 (Néng) Face-off, You Can and Will Use 会 (huì)!

    Tags: video, can

    'Very' and Other Degree Modifiers Qing Wen

    Today's Qing Wen focuses on a number of 'degree modifiers', i.e. the words you use to emphasize your adjectives. Along with classic favorites like 很(hěn) we'll be covering a multitude of others that are sure to take your Chinese to extraordinary new heights!

    Tags: degree, exaggerate, feelings

    Making Comparisons in Mandarin Qing Wen


    In this Qing Wen, we're going to learn different ways to make comparisons using the character 比 bi3. The sentence structure can be a little confusing at times, but since the adjectives don't change so much, once you've learnt it, you can start making some really interesting and complex sentences. Becuase this is Qing Wen, we like to go a bit more into detail, but if you're elementary, watch the video we made last week all about comparisons for extra revision here.
    There is also an early Qing Wen here.

    Tags: grammar, comparisons, video

    The Three De's: 的/得/地 Qing Wen


    Today we look at some of the most common characters in the Chinese language: 的 (HSK1), 得 (HSK2), and, 地 (HSK3).

    These little particles show up in almost every sentence in Chinese, and act to modify them in some way. However, because they are all pronounced the same (de), it can be very confusing for students.

    In this video lesson, we attempt to explain the difference by using lots of example sentences and pretty little color-coded graphics. Take you time with this one, or watch chapter by chapter.


    Tags: video, particles, grammar

    How to Use 了: Action Complete Qing Wen


    Today we attempt to tackle the often asked question on how to use the seemingly simple character, 了(le).

    了 (le) has many uses but in this first video we look at the "Action Complete 了”.

    Tune in next week for the next episode.

    Check out Chinese Grammar Wiki for even more examples.

    Tags: le, grammar, video

    How to Use 了: Change of State Qing Wen


    In part 2 of our video mini-series looking at the character 了 le, we anaylse 了2 which is also known as the "change of state le"; when a situation is different to how it was before.

    For last week's video about the action complete le, click here.

    Tune in next week for the final episode.

    Tags: video, le, grammar

    How to Use 了: Emphasis Qing Wen


    In this final? video on the topic of 了le, we analyse the emphasis pattern. Phrases like 太好了! are common ways to use this 了 le. Tune in to find out more.

    Watch Part 1

    Watch Part 2

    Tags: grammar, le, video